Early Friday morning, a week-long effort kicked off in York County and across the state of South Carolina to get an accurate count of the homeless community.
Kriss Jones of Pilgrims Inn is spearheading the effort in York County, and says that early this morning, seven teams of Winthrop students ventured into wooded areas, overpasses and known homeless gathering areas to conduct a biannual census.
Jones says while some welcome the outside help, others aren’t so pleased to see outsiders on their territory.
Jones says the outward efforts is one part of a two-sided effort to count the county’s homeless population. The other side includes working with area soup kitchens with walk-ins.
The outward effort involves trained volunteers asking homeless citizens a two-page survey about their current situation.
Jones says the point-in-time survey is designed to accurately count who is living where — and what services they may need.
Jones says the data that is collected is stripped of all personally identifiable information before it is reported to the state and federal government.
The survey asks not only for name, social security number and date of birth, but also where a homeless person has lived, if they have any medical conditions and if they have a history of military service.